Handling stress and caregiver burnout

Providing emotional support and physical care to someone with MS is often rewarding, but may be sometimes distressing or overwhelming. Balancing employment, child-care, increased responsibilities in the home, and caring for someone with MS can be stressful.

One of the biggest mistakes caregivers make is thinking that they can – and should – handle everything alone. The best way to avoid burnout is to have the practical and emotional support of other people. Sharing problems with others not only relieves stress, but also can give you new perspectives on problems. Try to talk about your feelings with family or friends, or enlist the help of more professional services and support groups.

Coping strategies
Here are some suggestions to help you cope with your emotions and keep your moods on track:

  • Keep a journal. Writing feelings and emotions down for yourself can help you safely express the thoughts swirling around in your head.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress and tame emotions such as anger and frustration. Go for a run, take a yoga class, go dancing, swimming, or play a team sport.
  • Let your mind go. Being creative channels your thoughts in positive directions. Try painting, take photographs, bake your favorite cookie recipe with new ingredients, or take up a musical instrument.
  • Relax. Taking time to just do nothing, breathe deeply, or daydream, can help you feel refreshed and put things into perspective. Listen to your favorite music, go for a walk in the sunshine, read a book by your favorite author, breathe slowly and deeply. You might be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel!
  • Are we having fun yet? Call a good friend and talk about something fun, watch a comedy movie, go shopping, or play with a dog or cat. What are your favorite things? Think about these and indulge in something fun!

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Tips-For-Caregivers